Production managers know that support process automation is an effective cost reduction strategy. Speeding up the information cycles that drive the facility’s production lines is an effective way to increase consistent output. This doesn’t come without risk. Therefore, systems and solutions still require rigid control elements and oversight.
The Manufacturing Critical-Path Times (MCT) rarely includes the associated support systems and infrastructure. A delayed email, non-operational printer, or incorrectly filed drawing can all cause unexpected shutdowns. The risk in continuing production without clear and definitive information is greater than the risk of shipping after the deadline. Production managers often walk this tightrope when making their daily decisions.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the more specialized a manufacturing software system becomes, the more expensive the support and licensing fees are. Yet standard, off-the-shelf products will rarely work when bought out-of-the-box.
Similarly, custom designed solutions are expensive to develop and create support dependencies. Expecting operations and production engineers to deal with non-production related technologies will lead to what should have been avoidable downtimes.
Moving to a Managed IT Model Reduces Risk and Improves Production Efficiency
With cloud-enabled software solutions, an organization-wide shift to greater process efficiencies becomes possible. The primary benefit is modular deployment, with organization-wide access, and custom configured solutions that integrate with the production processes and software.
Remote support means IT Technicians are always available, and changes to the ancillary processes rolled out from a central location. Hardware failures quickly dealt with once reported. Using e-commerce integrations correctly increases planning accuracy, reduces lead times for material sourcing, and quicker clearing of the receiving and shipping bays.
With Quality Control test results captured in the same integrated solution, engineers and QC staff can easily provide feedback to the factory floor. The shorter the information loop, the fewer defective runs are produced.
Accurate Data and Document Control reduce Errors and Bottlenecks
Moving to a managed IT service provider streamlines document management, version control, production workflows, and approval cycles. Advanced modern APIs and mobile integrations enable access with most software from almost any type of device. This moves critical information out of the production office and onto the facility floor.
Accurate data allows production managers to schedule adequate maintenance when it’s appropriate. When it comes to competing against the smallest of margins, any unplanned shutdown equates to a crisis. With better data acquisition tools, product designers can verify prototype results and test assembly techniques that ensures successful new product introductions.
A centralized Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution enables teamwork from individuals spread all over the globe. Working together on the same documents, with the same comments and subsequent tasks to fix production related issues before they occur.
Production Philosophies become Solution Frameworks
With technologies improving, and software solutions becoming more intelligent, leveraging a solution to benefit the production line activities is no longer that timely or expensive. Design Review software, workflow process management, and accounting integrations are all standard parts of a modern ECM.
Adding modern multifunction printers and devices (MFDs) to the mix, valuable support process improvements can achieve even more efficiencies. All these interventions go a long way to ensuring the manufacturing facility is operating as efficiently as possible while remaining agile.
Production management software is improving, but the Gantt chart changes with it. By ensuring the support that the facility’s resources need is always available, production quality and quantity will improve. Workflows can flow both upstream and downstream, ensuring controlled decisions and traceable accountability.
Making use of a Managed IT Solutions services provider increases the technology upgrade cycle. New IT infrastructure expenditure is an area where most companies are likely to fall behind during yearly budget allocations. Using an MSP, upgrades to onsite hardware can be part of the service cycles.
Manufacturing IT Solutions for Production Experts
Every production manager knows that keeping the line moving requires a delicate balancing act. Different stakeholders have different priorities. The QA team need the documentation, the engineers need feedback, and the shipping department needs stock. Expecting them to deal with support process issues doesn’t seem fair.
Having access to the latest support technologies and experts to assist with the implementations, manufacturing companies can redesign and enhance their existing production capabilities.
Blue Technologies provide expert manufacturing IT solutions that drive down the total support overhead. With key interventions on both workflow and data management technologies, they can quickly help you find the perfect custom solution.
With access to the latest technology devices from all major manufacturers, they can provide hardware and software to improve the daily efficiencies and save on wasteful expenditures. For advice on how to streamline your manufacturing processes using managed IT services, contact Blue Technologies today to find out more.